A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition)

Part 7 out of 10

By actions on this worldly stage most plainly doth appear.
Men see without most just desert of virtue nought is got,
To Fortune therefore fly they still, that giveth all by lot;
And finding Fortune's gifts so pleasant, sweet, and savoury,
They build thereon, as if they should endure perpetually.
But this is sure, and that most sure, that Fortune is unsure,
Herself most frail, her gifts as frail, subject to every shower:
And in the end, who buildeth most upon her surety,
Shall find himself cast headlong down to depth of misery.
Then having felt the crafty sleights of Fortune's fickle train,
Is forc'd to seek by virtue's aid to be relieved again.
This is the end; run how he list, this man of force must do,
Unless his life be clean cut off, this man must come unto:
In time, therefore, man might do well to care for his estate,
Lest, letted by extremity, repentance come too late.



CAP. W. Sir, I beseech you, speak a good word for me to the prince,
That by her letters I may be commended to some province,
Where service is to be had, either there to die with fame,
Or else to get me somewhat, whereon to live without shame;
For beg I cannot, and steal I may not, the truth is so;
But need doth make, the proverb say'th, th'old wife to trot for woe.
Yet whom stark need doth pinch, at length the devil drives to go:
Therefore, I beseech you, pity his extremity,
That would not make this suit without necessity.

LIB. Who be you, my friend?

CAP. W. By birth a gentleman, by profession a soldier,
Who, though I say it, in all our sovereign's war,
With hazard of my blood and life have gone as far,
As haply some others, whose fortunes have been better:
But I in service yet could never be a getter,
Ne can I impute it but to mine own destiny:
For well I know the prince is full of liberality.

LIB. What is your name, sir?

CAP. W. My name is Well-done.

LIB. Are you Captain Well-done?

CAP. W. Though unworthy, sir, I bear that name.

LIB. Give me your hand, Captain Well-done, for your fame
In feats of arms and service of your country
I have heard oft; you have deserved greatly;
Therefore think this that, as you merit much,
So the consideration thereof shall be such,
As duly doth pertain to your desert.
Trust me, the prince herself, unmoved of my part,
Your dutiful service hath specially regarded,
And expressly commands that it be well rewarded
Wherefore you shall not need to seek service abroad:
I exhort you at home still to make your abode:
That if in this realm occasions of wars be offered,
You and others your like may be employed.

CAP. W. My duty binds me to obey.

LIB. Then for this time you shall not need to stay.
As for your cause, I will remember it,
And see it holpen too, as shall be fit.

[_Exit_ WELL-DONE.

LIB. Truly, if I should not have care of this man's necessity,
I should both swerve from virtue and from honesty.



COUR. Sir, I humbly beseech you help to prefer my suit.

LIB. What is it?

COUR. There is an office fall'n, which I would gladly execute.

LIB. Who be you?

COUR. A servant here in court.

LIB. Do you serve the prince?

COUR. No, and please you.

LIB. Whom then?

COUR. A nobleman near about her majesty.

LIB. In what degree?

COUR. Forsooth, sir, as his secretary.

LIB. How long have you served?

COUR. A year or twain.

LIB. And would you so soon be preferred?
In sooth, my friend, I would be glad, as I may,
To do you any good: but this I say:
Who seeks by virtue preferment to attain,
In virtuous proceeding must take more pain,
Than can be well taken in a year or twain.
For time gives experience of every man's deeds,
And each man by merit accordingly speeds.
Go forward, my friend, in virtue with diligence,
And time, for your service, shall yield you recompence.
Your lord and master is very honourable,
And him in your suits you shall find favourable:
And as for my part, as erst I did say,
I never will hinder, where further I may.
Let this for this time be your answer.

COUR. Sir, with my boldness, I beseech you to bear.

LIB. God be with you. [_Exit_ COURTIER.
Some men deserve, and yet do want their due;
Some men, again, on small deserts do sue,
It therefore standeth princes' officers in hand,
The state of every man rightly to understand,
That so by balance of equality
Each man may have his hire[397] accordingly.
Well, since dame Virtue unto me doth charge of many things refer,
I must go do that best beseems a faithful officer.



_Enter_ MONEY.

MON. _Liberty, liberty_! now I cry _liberty_!
Catch me again, when you can, Prodigality!
Never was there poor soul so cruelly handled.
I was at the first, like a cockney[398] dandled,
Strok'd on the head, kiss'd and well cherished,
And so thought surely I should have continued:
But now, how my case is altered suddenly!
You would not believe, unless you saw it apparently.
I'faith, since ye saw me, I have been turmoiled
From post to pillar: see how I am spoiled.
The villains among them provided the roast;
But Money was forced to pay for the cost
Both of their feasting and of their chamber cheer.
Yea, in every place they have fleec'd me so near:
He a fleece, and she a fleece, that nothing could I keep,
But glad to run away like a new-shorn sheep.
And though I have been pinched very near,
I am glad to see you in good health, every one here:
And now I have escaped the traitorous treachery
Of such a thriftless, roisting company,
To my mother in haste again I will get me,
And keep at home safely: from thence let them fet me.


_Enter_ VANITY _and_ MONEY.

VAN. What, Master Money, how goeth the world with you?

MON. Look but upon me, thou may'st quickly judge how.

VAN. Why, where the vengeance, where the devil hast thou been?
Among brambles or briars? or spirits, sure, I ween.

MON. Both ween it and wot it! I have pass'd a wilderness
Of most mischievous and miserable distress;
Sharp brambles, sharp briars, and terrible scratchers,
Bears, wolves, apes, lions, most ravening snatchers,
Thorns, thistles, and nettles, most horrible stingers,
Ravens, gripes and griphons. O vengeable wringers,
Yea through my whole passage such damnable sights,
As I cannot but judge them most damnable sprites.

VAN. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

MON. Laugh ye, my friend? It is no laughing toy.

VAN. But who did guide you in this labyrinth of joy?

MON. Who, sir? your minion, sir; Prodigality,
The captain elected of all roisting knavery;
He will be hang'd, I warrant him, shortly.

VAN. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

MON. Yet go to, laugh on!

VAN. Are you not a cuck--cuck-cold?

MON. I may be indeed; my clothes be but thin,
And therefore I will even go get me in,
That Fortune, my mother, may clothe me anew. [_Exit_.

VAN. Do so, you had need so, I may say to you.
Now, sure, it is a world of worlds to see,
How all the world inclines to Vanity;
Men seek at first--that is but Vanity,
And lose at last--that was but Vanity,
And yet continue still to follow Vanity,
As though it were a thing of certainty.
And I, that bear the name of Vanity,
And see the world's exceeding Vanity,
In following so the tracks of Vanity,
Do triumph still amid my empery,
And laugh at their simplicity,
That will be so misled by Vanity.
But who is this? O, I know him, a scholar of our train,
'Tis Hob-a-Clunch, that comes for money again.



TEN. God speed, Master Fanity.

VAN. Wocum,[399] Master Tenacity.

TEN. Sur, cham come once again vor money.

VAN. So me thinks.

TEN. Shall be sped now at length, trow ye?

VAN. I cannot tell ye, 'tis hard to say;
Peradventure yea, peradventure nay.

TEN. How so, man?

VAN. I fear me you will spend him too fast away.

TEN. Ho, ho, ho, ho! dost thou vear that, friend Fanity?
Shalt not need, man, chill keep him safe, che warrant thee.
O, that chad him in my clutches, shouldst see, I trow,
Whether chud keep him vast and safe, or no.
I pray thee, good sweet Master Fanity,
Speak one good word for poor Tenacity.

VAN. And dost thou indeed so well love money?

TEN. Do my wife's bees at home, think'st thou, love honey?

VAN. What wouldst thou do with it?

TEN. [_Hesitating_.] Chud, chud, chud, chud--

VAN. _Chud, chud_! what _chud_?

TEN. Chud--do no harm at all.

VAN. No, nor much good, I think, to great nor small.
But well, put case, I procure thee to speed,
You will remember your promise that I shall be fee'd.

TEN. God's vast, man, yea, chill do it, chill do it.

VAN. Stand there a while, and wait.
[_To_ FORTUNE.] Bright goddess, behold here again Tenacity,
That humbly makes his suit to have money.

MON. For Money? ho, there! Money finds himself well:
Money now hath no liking from Fortune to dwell.

VAN. _In vanum laboraverunt_, come.

TEN. Now, good soot', honey, vair golden mustress,
Let poor Tenacity taste of thy goodness:
Thee che honour, thee che serve, thee che reverence,
And in thy help che put my whole confidence.

FOR. Money, you must go to him, there is no remedy.

MON. Yea, and be us'd as before with Prodigality!

TEN. Let Prodigality go to the gallows-tree!
Why, man, he and I are clean contrary.
I chill coll thee, chill cuss thee.

MON, So did he.

TEN. Chill save thee, chill spare thee, chill keep thee from wasting.

MON. So did not he.
Go to then, seeing that my mother's will is such,
To put it in adventure I may not grutch.

TEN. O my sweeting, my darling, my chewel, my joy,
My pleasure, my treasure, mine own pretty boy.

MON. How now? what mean you by this, Tenacity.

TEN. O, forbid me not to kiss my sweet Money.
Varewell, Vortune; and, Vortune, che thank thee alway.
Come on, surrah, chill make you vast, bum vay.

MON. What, with ropes? what needs that?

TEN. Vor vear of robbing by the highway.
_La, mi, fa, sol, fa; sol, mi, fa, re, mi_.

[_Exit_ TENACITY, _and goeth to the inn for his ass_.


[_to them afterwards_] TOM TOSS.

PROD. O monstrous, vile, filthy luck! see, in the twinkling of an eye,
Scarce knowing which way, I have quite lost my Money.

DICK. Out of all doubt, Prodigality, he is not gone yonder way.

PROD. Then seek some other course, make here no stay.
He must be found out, there is no remedy.
Thou know'st in what pickle we stand without Money.

DICK. Why, sure, Prodigality, it can be no other,
But he is returned to Fortune his mother.

PROD. Thinkest thou so?
Thou, Fortune, hearest thou? by fair means, I advise thee,
Restore my Money to me again: deal plainly and wisely;
Or by this sharp-edged sword, shalt see me play a proud part,
For I will have him again, in spite of thy heart.

VAN. Whom have we there, that keepeth such a coil.

PROD. Even he that will not put up such a foil.

VAN. What's the matter?

PROD. Vanity, to that dame thy mistress commend me,
Tell her--tell her, it doth not a little offend me,
To have my money in such great despite,
Taken so from me without any right.
What though it were once her own proper gift?
Yet given, 'tis mine own, there is no other shift.
Therefore charge her, in the name of Prodigality,
That he be restor'd to me incontinently,
Lest she repent it--

VAN. These be sore and cruel threat'nings, marry.
Is your haste so great, that by no means you may tarry?

PROD. I will not tarry, and therefore make haste.

VAN. Soft, sir, a little, there is no time pass'd.
You may tarry, you must tarry, for aught as I know:
Nay, then you shall tarry, whether you will or no.

DICER. 'Zwounds, sir, he mocks you.

PROD. Gibe not with me, you whoreson rascal slave!
For money I come, and money will I have.
Sirrah Vanity, Vanity! What, Vanity!
Speak and be hang'd, Vanity! What, will't not be?

DICER. What a prodigious knave, what a slave is this? [_Aside_.

PROD. Fortune, fine Fortune, you minion, if ye be wise,
Bethink ye betimes, take better advice:
Restore unto me my money quietly,
Else look for wars: Vanity, Fortune, Vanity!

DICER. Sir, you see it booteth not.

PROD. It is but my ill-luck.
Now the devil and his dam give them both suck!
What may we do? what counsel giv'st thou, Dick?

DICER. Marry, sir, be rul'd by me; I'll show you a trick,
How you may have him quickly.

PROD. As how?

DICER. Scale the walls: in at the window; by force fet him.

PROD. None better, in faith; fetch a ladder, and I will set him.
Fortune, thou injurious dame, thou shalt not by this villany
Have cause to triumph over Prodigality.
Why speak'st thou not? why speak'st thou not, I say?
Thy silence doth but breed thine own hurt and decay.

DICER. Here is a ladder.

PROD. Set it to.

[_Here_ PRODIGALITY _scaleth_; FORTUNE _claps a halter
about his neck; he breaketh the halter, and falls_.

PROD. 'Swounds! help, Dick: help quickly, or I am chok'd!

DICER. God-a-mercy, good halter, or else you had been yok'd!

PROD. O thou vile, ill-favoured, crow-trodden, pye-pecked ront!
Thou abominable, blind foul-filth,[400] is this thy wont:
First, maliciously to spoil men of their good,
And then by subtle sleights thus to seek their blood?
I abhor thee--I defy thee, wheresoever I go;
I do proclaim myself thy mortal foe.

[_Enter_ TOM TOSS.][401]

TOM TOSS. News, Prodigality, news!

DICER. Good, and God will?

PROD. What news, Tom?

TOSS. I have met with Money.

PROD. Where?

TOSS. Marry, sir, he is going into a strange country
With an old chuff, called Tenacity.

PROD. Tenacity? is that tinker's budget so full of audacity?

TOSS. 'Tis true.

PROD. May we not overtake him?

TOSS. Yes, easily with good horses.

PROD. Let's go then, for God's sake; we'll catch him in a trap.

DICER _and_ TOSS. Go; we will go with you, whatever shall hap.



_Enter_ VANITY.[402]

VAN. O rotten rope, that thou must be so brittle!
Hadst thou but happened to have held a little,
I had taught my princocks against another time
So to presume Dame Fortune's bower to climb.
To make such a 'scape, his hap was very good:
Well, he 'scaped fair, I swear by the rood:
But will you have me say my fantasy,
_Quod differtur, non aufertur_; for assuredly
The gentleman will never hold himself quiet,
Till once more he come to taste of this diet.
Mark the end.

FOR. Vanity! [_From a window_.

VAN. Madam.

FOR. Is this roister gone?

VAN. Yea, madam, he is gone.

FOR. Then get thee anon,
And cause my attendants to come away,
For here as now I will no longer stay,
But prosecute this foe of mine so fast
By mischiefs all I may, that at the last
He shall arrive unto a wretched end,
And with repentance learn how to offend
A goddess of my state and dignity.

VAN. Lady, to do your will I hasten willingly.
[VANITY _exit_.

FORTUNE _comes down_.

FOR. Dame Fortune's power, her most exceeding might,
Is known by this as an undoubted thing:
Since here most plainly hath appear'd in sight,
How all the world doth hang upon her wing,
How high and low, of all states and degrees,
Do rise and fall again, as she decrees.
Then let not Virtue think it scorn to yield
To Fortune, chief of power, chief sovereignty:
Sith Fortune here by proof hath won the field,
Subdu'd her foes, and got the victory:
For as she list to favour, else to frown,
She hoisteth up, or headlong hurleth down.

[_Enter_ VANITY _again_.][403]

VAN. Madam, here are your vassals ready prest,
To do the thing that Fortune liketh best.

FOR. Well, then, come on to witness this our victory;
Depart we hence with sound of fame triumphantly.

[_Cries of Reverence, due reverence_!



PROD. [_to_ MONEY.] Come on, my bulchin;[404] come on, my fat ox:[405]
Come, porkling, come on; come, pretty twattox.[406]
Why, will it not be? yet faster, a cur'sy![407]
This gentleman of late is waxen so pursy,
As at every land's-end he seeketh to rest him.
How think ye? hath not Tenacity trimly dress'd him?

MON. Prodigality, if thou lovest me, let us here stay:
For sure I can do no more than I may.
I am out of breath, as weary as a dog.
[_He falls down upon his elbow_.

TOSS. A luskish lubber, as fat as a hog!

PROD. Come up, gentle Money; we may not here stay.

MON. I must needs, Prodigality, there is no nay;
For if I should stir me one inch from the ground,
I think I shall die, sure, or fall in a sound.[408]

PROD. Then must you be drawn.

MON. Drawn or hang'd, all is one:
For I cannot stir me; my breath is clean gone.

PROD. How like ye this _grossum corpus_, so mightily grown?

TOSS. I like him the better, that he is your own.

DICER. A more monstrous beast, a beast more unwieldy,
Since first I was born, yet[409] never beheld I.

PROD. Indeed, the whoreson is waxen somewhat too fat;
But we will find medicines to remedy that.

TOSS. Sir, let me but have him a little in cure,
To put my poor practice of physic in ure,
And I dare warrant ye, with a purgation or twain,
I'll quickly rid him out of all this pain.

PROD. I think a glister were better.

DICER. Nay, rather a suppository.

TOSS. Nay, then, what say you to letting of blood?

DICER. I think that some of these should do him good.
Ask the physician.

MON. Prodigality?


MON. I am sick.

PROD. Where, man?

MON. Faith, here, in my belly.
It swells, I assure ye, out of all measure.

PROD. Take heed it grow not to a timpany.

MON. And if it do, what is the danger then?

PROD. A consumption.

MON. A consumption? marry, God forbid, man.

TOSS. What think you now of Tenacity?
Was he your friend or your foe?

MON. Ah, that wretch Tenacity hath brought me to all this woe.
'Twas he, indeed, that sought to destroy me,
In that he would never use or employ[410] me:
But, Prodigality, sweet Prodigality,
Help to provide some present remedy:
Let me not be thus miserably spilt;
Ease me of this, and use me as thou wilt.
Yet had I rather live in state bare and thin,
Than in this monstrous plight that now I am in:
So fatty, so foggy, so out of all measure,
That in myself I take no kind of pleasure.

PROD. Why, rise up then quickly, and let us be gone.

MON. Friends, you must help me, I cannot rise alone.

DICER. Come on, my sweet Money, we must have a mean
To turn this foggy fat to a finer lean.

MON. The sooner the better.

TOSS. Nay, Money, doubt not, but by sweat or by vomit
I warrant thee, boy, shortly thou shalt be rid from it.

PROD. Rid, quotha? if shaving, or boxing, or scouring,
Or 'nointing, or scraping, or purging, or blood-letting,
Or rubbing, or paring, or chafing, or fretting,
Or ought else will rid it, he shall want no ridding. [_Aside_.
Come on, Money, let's be jogging!



PRODIGALITY, DICER, &c., _to whom enter_ CONSTABLE,
_making hue and cry, and_ HOST.[411]

CON. Thieves, neighbours, thieves! come forth, beset the country.

PROD. Hark! list a while, what might this clamour be?

DICER. 'Zwounds, we are undone, Prodigality;
The constables come after with hue and cry.

TOSS. O Cerberus, what shall we do?

PROD. Stand back, lie close, and let them pass by.

[_They retire_.

CON. Thieves, thieves! O vile, O detestable deed!
Thieves, neighbours! come forth, away, abroad with speed.
Where dwell these constables?

HOST. Why? what's the matter, friend, I pray?

CON. Why, thieves, man, I tell thee, come away.

HOST. Thieves, i'faith? Wife! my scull, my jack, my brown bill.

CON. Come away quickly.

HOST. Dick, Tom, Will, ye whoresons, make ye all ready, and haste;
But let me hear, how stands the case?
[_Follows_ CONSTABLE.[412]

CON. Marry, sir, here-by. Not far from this place,
A plain simple man, riding on his ass,
Meaning home to his country in God's peace to pass,
By certain roisters, most furious and mad,
Is spoiled and robbed of all that he had.
And yet not contented, when they had his money,
But the villains have also murdered him most cruelly.

HOST. Good God, for his mercy!

CON. It was my hap to come then present[ly] by him,
And found him dead, with twenty wounds upon him.

HOST. But what became of them?

CON. They fled this way.

HOST. Then, neighbour, let us here no longer stay,
But hence and lay the country roundabout:
They shall be quickly found, I have no doubt.



_Enter_ VIRTUE _and_ EQUITY, _with other attendants_.

VIR. My lords, you see how far this worldly state perverted is;
From good declin'd, inclined still to follow things amiss:
You see but very few that make of Virtue any price:
You see all sorts with hungry wills run headlong into vice.

EQ. We see it oft, we sorrow much, and heartily lament,
That of himself man should not have a better government.

VER. The very beasts that be devoid of reason, dull and dumb,
By nature learn to shun those things whereof their hurt may come.
If man were then but as a beast, only by nature taught,
He would also by nature learn to shun what things are nought.
But man with reason is endued: he reason hath for stay;
Which reason should restrain his will from going much astray.

EQ. Madam, 'tis true:
Where reason rules, there is the golden mean.

VER. But most men stoop to stubborn will,
Which conquereth reason clean.

EQ. And will again to fancy yields,
Which twain be special guides,
That train a man to tread ill paths,
Where ease and pleasure bides.

VER. No ease, no pleasure, can be good, that is not got with pains.

EQ. That is the cause from Virtue's love
Man's fancy still refrains.

VER. And pains, I think, they feel likewise,
That unto vice do bend.

EQ. They feel, no doubt: but yet such pains
Come not before the end.

VIR. I grieve for man, that man should be of ill attempts so[413] fain.

EQ. Grieve not for that: evil tasted once, turns him to good again.

VIR. Then will I take a cheerful mind,
Unpleasant thoughts expel,
And cares for man commit to them,
That in the heavens do dwell.

EQ. Do so, dear madam, I beseech you most heartily,
And recreate yourself, before you go hence, with some sweet melody.

_The Song.

If pleasure be the only thing,
That man doth seek so much:
Chief pleasures rest, where virtue rules:
No pleasure[s] can be such.

Though Virtue's ways be very strait,
Her rocks be hard to climb:
Yet such as do aspire thereto,
Enjoy all joys in time.

Plain is the passage unto vice,
The gaps lie wide to ill:
To them that wade through lewdness' lake
The ice is broken still.

This therefore is the difference,
The passage first seems hard
To Virtue's train; but then most sweet
At length is their reward.

To those again, that follow vice,
The way is fair and plain;
But fading pleasures in the end
Are bought with lasting[414] pain.

If pleasure be the only thing, &c_.



VIR. Now, my lords, I see no cause but that depart we may.

EQ. Madam, to that shall like you best we willingly obey.

LIB. Yet,[415] lady, stay awhile, and hear of strange adventures.

VIR. Of what adventures tell you? let us know.

LIB. Master Sheriff, of that is happened do you make show.

SHER. Then, may it please you, the effect is this:
There is a certain roister, named Prodigality,
That long about this town hath ruffled in great jollity!
A man long suspected of very lewd behaviour,
Yet standing ever so high in Fortune's favour,
As never till now he could be bewrayed
Of any offence, that to him might be laid:
Now wanting (belike) his wonted bravery,
He thought to supply it by murther and robbery.

EQ. By murther and robbery?

SHER. Yea, sure.

VIR. How?

SHER. This gallant, I tell you, with other lewd franions,
Such as himself, unthrifty companions,
In most cruel sort, by the highway-side,
Assaulted a countryman as he homewards did ride:
Robbed him, and spoiled him of all that they might,
And lastly bereav'd him of his life outright.

VIR. O horrible fact!

SHER. The country hereupon rais'd hue and try straightway:
He is apprehended, his fellows fled away.
I supplying, though unworthy, for this year
The place of an officer, and sheriff of the shire,
To my prince's use, have seized on his money,
And bring you the same, according to my duty:
Praying the party may have the law with speed,
That others may be terrified from so foul a deed.

VIR. So horrible a fact can hardly plead for favour:
Therefore go you, Equity, examine more diligently
The manner of this outrageous robbery:
And as the same by examination shall appear,
Due justice may be done in presence here.

EQ. It shall be done, madam.

SHER. Then, madam, I pray you, appoint some officer to take the money,
That I may return again with Equity.

VIR. Let it be delivered to my steward Liberality.


LIB. What, Money? how come you to be so fat and foggy?

MON. Surely, sir, by the old chuff, that miser Tenacity.

LIB. How so?

MON. He would never let me abroad to go,
But lock'd me up in coffers, or in bags bound me fast,
That, like a boar in a sty, he fed me at last,
Thus Tenacity did spoil me for want of exercise:
But Prodigality, clean contrariwise,
Did toss me and fleece me, so bare and so thin,
That he left nothing on me but very bone and skin.

LIB. Well, Money, will you bide with him that can devise
To rid you and keep you from these extremities?

MON. Who is that?

LIB. Even myself, Liberality.

MON. Sir, I like you well, and therefore willingly
I am contented with you to remain,
So as you protect me from the other twain.

LIB. I warrant thee.
First, from thy bands I'll set thee free,
And after thy sickness cured shall be.

MON. Thanks and obedience I yield and vow to Liberality.

[_Exit_ MONEY.

_Enter_ CAPTAIN WELL-DONE [_and other_ SUITORS.]

CAP. W. My lord, according to your appointment and will,
I come to attend your pleasure.

LIB. Have you brought your bill?[416]

CAP. W. Yea, my lord.

LIB. Give it me.
I'll be your mean unto the prince, that it may despatched be:
The while take here these hundred crowns, to relieve ye.

CAP. W. God save the queen, and God save Liberality!

2D SUITOR. Sir, I have long served the prince at great expense,
And long have I been promised a recompense:
I beseech you consider of me.

LIB. What, do you serve without fee?

2D SUITOR. Yea, truly, sir.

LIB. Hold, pray for the queen. [_Gives him money_.]

2D SUITOR. It shall be my prayer day and night truly:
God save the queen, and God save Liberality!

3D SUITOR. Now, good my lord, vouchsafe of your charity
To cast here aside your faithful eye
Upon a poor soldier, naked and needy,
That in the queen's wars was maimed, as you see.

LIB. Where have you served?

3D SUITOR. In France, in Flanders; but in Ireland most.

LIB. Under whom?

3D SUITOR. Under Captain Well-done.

CAP. W. He was my soldier indeed, sir, until he lost his leg.

LIB. Hold, pray for the queen. [_Gives him money_.]

3D SUITOR. God save the queen, and God save Liberality!


CRIER, PRODIGALITY, [_to whom_] _the_ JUDGE.

TIP. Room, my masters, give place, stand by:
Sir Equity hath sent me to let you understand,
That hither he will resort out of hand,
To sit upon the arraignment of Prodigality.

LIB. In good time.

TIP. Behold, he comes.

LIB. Now, Equity, how falls the matter out?

EQ. That Prodigality is guilty of the fact, no doubt.
And therefore for furtherance of justice effectually,
My lord the judge comes to sit upon him presently:
Wherein we crave your assistance.

LIB. I'll wait upon you.

TIP. Room, my masters, room for my lord: stand by.

_The_ JUDGE _placed, and the_ CLERKS _under him_.

JUDGE. Call for the prisoner.

CLERK. Make an oyes, Crier.

CRIER. Oyes, oyes, oyes!

CLERK. Sheriff of Middlesex.

CRIER. Sheriff of Middlesex.

CLERK. Bring forth the prisoner.

CRIER. Bring forth the prisoner.

CLERK. Prodigality.

CRIER. Prodigality.

CLERK. Pain of the peril shall fall thereon.

CRIER. Pain of the peril shall fall thereon.

SHER. Here, sir.

CLERK. Prodigality, hold up thy hand. [_He holds it up_.
Thou art indicted here by the name of Prodigality,
For that thou, the fourth day of February,
In the three and forty year of the prosperous reign
Of Elizabeth, our dread sovereign,
By the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland queen,
Defender of the faith, &c.,
Together with the other malefactors yet unknown,
At Highgate,[417] in the county of Middlesex, aforesaid,
Didst feloniously take from one Tenacity,
Of the parish of Pancridge,[418] yeoman, in the said county,
One thousand pounds of gold and silver sterling.
And also, how thyself, the said Prodigality,
With a sword, price twenty shillings, then and there cruelly
Didst give the said Tenacity upon the head
One mortal wound, whereof he is now dead,
Contrary to the queen's peace, her crown, and dignity.

JUDGE. How say'st thou, Prodigality, to this robbery,
Felony, and murther? art thou guilty
Or not guilty?

PROD. My lord, I beseech you
Grant me counsel to plead my cause.

JUDGE. That may not be; it standeth not with our laws.

PROD. Then, good my lord, let me some respite take.

JUDGE. Neither may that be; thus doth the indictment lie,
Thou art accus'd of murther and of robbery,
To which thou must now answer presently,
Whether thou be thereof guilty or not guilty.

PROD. Well, since there is no other remedy,
And that my fact falls out so apparently,
I will confess that indeed I am guilty,
Most humbly appealing to the prince's mercy.

JUDGE. Then what canst thou say for thyself, Prodigality,
That according to the law thou shouldst not die?

PROD. Nothing, my lord; but still appeal to the prince's mercy.

JUDGE. Then hearken to thy judgment: thou,
Prodigality, by that name hast been
Indicted and arraigned here of a robbery,
Murther, and felony, against the laws committed
By thee: the indictment whereof being read unto thee
Here, thou confessest thyself to be guilty therein:
Whereupon I judge thee to be had from hence
To the place thou cam'st fro, and from thence to
The place of execution, there to be hanged,
Till thou be dead. God have mercy on thee!

PROD. My lord, I most humbly beseech you to hear me.

JUDGE. Say on.

PROD. I confess I have run a wanton wicked race,
Which now hath brought me to this woful wretched case:
I am heartily sorry, and with tears do lament
My former lewd and vile misgovernment.
I find the brittle stay of trustless Fortune's state.
My heart now thirsteth after Virtue all too late:
Yet, good my lord, of pity condescend
To be a mean for him that meaneth to amend.
The prince is merciful, of whose great mercy
Full many have largely tasted already;
Which makes me appeal thereto more boldly.

JUDGE. Prodigality, I not mislike your wailful disposition;
And therefore for you to the prince there shall be made petition,
That though your punishment be not fully remitted,
Yet in some part it may be qualified.

PROD. God save your life!

down before the_ QUEEN, _and, after reverence made_,
VIRTUE _speaketh_


_Most mighty queen, yonder I sat in place,
Presenting show of chiefest dignity;
Here prostrate, lo, before your princely grace
I show myself, such as I ought to be,
Your humble vassal, subject to your will,
With fear and love your grace to reverence still_.




_Grim the Collier of Croyden; or, The Devil and his Dame: with the Devil
and Saint Dunston. By I.T. London. Printed in the year_ [1662]. 12mo.


The initial letters J.T. are placed before this play as those belonging
to the author of it. What his name was, or what his condition, are
alike unknown. It was printed in 12mo, 1662, with two others, "Thorny
Abby; or, The London Maid," and "The Marriage Broker," in a volume
entitled "Gratiae Theatrales; or, A Choice Ternary of English Plays."
Chetwood says it was printed in 1599, and Whincop, in the year
1606.[419] I cannot but suspect the fidelity of both these writers
in this particular.[420]


You're welcome; but our plot I dare not tell ye,
For fear I fright a lady with great belly:
Or should a scold be 'mong you, I dare say
She'd make more work than the devil in the play.
Heard you not never how an actor's wife,
Whom he (fond fool) lov'd dearly as his life,
Coming in's way did chance to get a jape,[421]
As he was 'tired in his devil's shape;
And how equivocal a generation
Was then begot, and brought forth thereupon?
Let it not fright you; this I dare to say,
Here is no lecherous devil in our play.
He will not rumple Peg, nor Joan, nor Nan,
But has enough at home to do with Marian,
Whom he so little pleases, she in scorn
Does teach his devilship to wind the horn;
But if your children cry when Robin comes,
You may to still them buy here pears or plums.
Then sit you quiet all who are come in,
St Dunstan will soon enter and begin.


ST DUNSTAN, _Abbot of Glastonbury_.
MORGAN, _Earl of London_.
LACY, _Earl of Kent_.
HONOREA, _Morgan's daughter_.
MARIAN, _her Waiting-maid_.
NAN, _Marian's maid_.
MUSGRAVE, _a young Gentleman_.
MILES FORREST, _a Gentleman_.
RALPH HARVEY, _an Apothecary_.
GRIM, _the Collier of Croydon_.
CLACK, _a Miller_.
JOAN, _a Country Maid_.
AEACUS | _Devils_.
AKERCOCK, _or Robin Goodfellow_, |
MALBECCO'S _Ghost, Officers, Attendants, &c.

The Stage is England_.



_A place being provided for the devil's consistory, enter_
ST DUNSTAN, _with his beads, book, and crosier-staff, &c_.

ST. DUN. Envy, that always waits on virtue's train,
And tears the graves of quiet sleeping souls,
Hath brought me after many hundred years
To show myself again upon the earth.
Know then (who list) that I am English born,
My name is Dunstan; whilst I liv'd with men,
Chief primate of the holy English church.
I was begotten in West Saxony:[423]
My father's name was Heorstan, my mother's Cinifred.
Endowed with my merit's legacy,
I flourish'd in the reign of seven great kings:
The first was Athelstane, whose niece Elfleda
Malicious tongues reported I defiled:
Next him came Edmond, then Edred, and Edwy.
And after him reign'd Edgar, a great prince.
But full of many crimes, which I restrain'd:
Edward his son, and lastly Ethelred.
With all these kings was I in high esteem,
And kept both them and all the land in awe:
And, had I liv'd, the Danes had never boasted
Their then beginning conquest of this land.
Yet some accuse me for a conjuror,
By reason of those many miracles
Which heaven for holy life endowed me with;
But whoso looks into the "Golden Legend"[424]
(That sacred register of holy saints)
Shall find me by the pope canonised,
And happily the cause of this report
Might rise by reason of a vision
Which I beheld in great King Edgar's days,
Being that time Abbot of Glastonbury,
Which (for it was a matter of some worth)
I did make known to few until this day:
But now I purpose that the world shall see
How much those slanderers have wronged me:
Nor will I trouble you with courts and kings;
Or drive a feigned battle out of breath;
Or keep a coil myself upon the stage;
But think you see me in my secret cell,
Arm'd with my portass,[425] bidding of my beads.
But on a sudden I'm o'ercome with sleep!
If aught ensue, watch you, for Dunstan[426] dreams.

[_He layeth him down to sleep; lightning and thunder;
the curtains drawn on a sudden_; PLUTO, MINOS, AEACUS,
RHADAMANTHUS, _set in counsel; before them_ MALBECCO'S
_ghost guarded with furies_.

PLU. You ever-dreaded judges of black hell,
Grim Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanth,
Lords of Cocytus, Styx, and Phlegethon,
Princes of darkness, Pluto's ministers,
Know that the greatness of his present cause
Hath made ourselves in person sit as judge,
To hear th'arraignment of Malbecco's ghost.
Stand forth, thou ghastly pattern of despair,
And to this powerful synod tell thy tale,
That we may hear if thou canst justly say
Thou wert not author of thy own decay.

MAL.[427] Infernal Jove, great prince of Tartary,
With humble reverence poor Malbecco speaks,
Still trembling with the fatal memory
Of his so late concluded tragedy.
I was (with thanks to your great bounty) bred
A wealthy lord, whilst that I liv'd on earth;
And so might have continu'd to this day,
Had not that plague of mankind fall'n on me:
For I (poor man) join'd woe unto my name
By choosing out a woman for my wife.
A wife! a curse ordained for the world.
Fair Helena! fair she was indeed,
But foully stain'd with inward wickedness.
I kept her bravely, and I lov'd her dear;
But that dear love did cost my life and all.
To reckon up a thousand of her pranks,
Her pride, her wasteful spending, her unkindness,
Her false dissembling, seeming sanctity,
Her scolding, pouting, prating, meddling,
And twenty hundred more of the same stamp,
Were but to heap[428] an endless catalogue
Of what the world is plagu'd with every day.
But for the main of that I have to tell,
It chanced thus--Late in a rainy night,
A crew of gallants came unto my house,
And (will I, nill I) would forsooth be lodg'd.
I brought them in, and made them all good cheer
(Such as I had in store), and lodg'd them soft.
Amongst them one, ycleped[429] Paridell
(The falsest thief that ever trod on ground),
Robb'd me, and with him stole away my wife.
I (for I lov'd her dear) pursu'd the thief,
And after many days in travel spent,
Found her amongst a crew of satyrs wild,
Kissing and colling[430] all the livelong night.
I spake her fair, and pray'd her to return;
But she in scorn commands me to be gone,
And glad I was to fly, to save my life.
But when I backward came unto my house,
I find it spoil'd, and all my treasure gone.
Desp'rate and mad, I ran I knew not whither,
Calling and crying out on heaven and fate,
Till, seeing none to pity my distress,
I threw myself down headlong on a rock,
And so concluded all my ills at once.
Now, judge you, justice benchers, if my wife
Were not the instrument to end my life.

PLU. Can it be possible (you lords of hell)
Malbecco's tale of women should be true?
Is marriage now become so great a curse,
That whilom was the comfort of the world?

MIN. Women, it seems, have lost their native shame,
As no man better may complain than I;
Though not of any whom I made my wife,
But of my daughter, who procured my fall.

AEAC. 'Tis strange what plaints are brought us every day
Of men made miserable by marriage;
So that, amongst a thousand, scarcely ten
Have not some grievous actions 'gainst their wives.

RHA. My lord, if Rhadamanth might counsel you,
Your grace should send some one into the world,
That might make proof if it be true or no.

PLU. And wisely hast thou counseled, Rhadamanth,
Call in Belphegor to me presently;
[_One of the furies goes for_ BELPHEGOR.
He is the fittest that I know in hell
To undertake a task of such import;
For he is patient, mild, and pitiful--
Humours but ill agreeing with our kingdom.


And here he comes. Belphegor, so it is,
We in our awful synod have decreed
(Upon occasion to ourselves best known)
That thou from hence shall go into the world,
And take upon thee the shape of a man,
In which estate thou shalt be married.
Choose thee a wife that best may please thyself,
And live with her a twelvemonth and a day.
Thou shalt be subject unto human chance,
So far as common wit cannot relieve thee;
Thou shalt of us receive ten thousand pounds,
Sufficient stock to use for thy increase:
But whatsoever happens in that time,
Look not from us for succour or relief.
This shalt thou do, and when the time's expired,
Bring word to us what thou hast seen and done.

BEL. With all my heart, my lord, I am content,
So I may have my servant Akercock
To wait on[431] me, as if he were my man,
That he may witness likewise what is done.

PLU. We are contented, he shall go with thee.

MIN. But what meantime decrees your majesty
Of poor Malbecco?

PLU. He shall rest with us,
Until Belphegor do return again;
And as he finds, so will we give his doom.
Come, let us go and set our spyal[432] forth,
Who for a time must make experiment,
If hell be not on earth as well as here.


[_It thunders and lightens; the devils go forth_;
DUNSTAN, _rising, runneth about the stage, laying
about him with his staff_.

ST DUN. Satan, avaunt! thou art man's enemy:
Thou shalt not live amongst us so unseen,
So to betray us to the prince of darkness.
Satan, avaunt! I do conjure thee hence.--
What, dream'st thou, Dunstan? yea, I dream'd indeed.
Must then the devil come into the world?
Such is, belike, the infernal king's decree;
Well, be it so; for Dunstan is content.
Mark well the process of the devil's disguise,
Who happily may learn you to be wise.
Women, beware, and make your bargains well,
The devil, to choose a wife, is come from hell.



_Enter_ MORGAN, _Earl of London_, LACY, _Earl of Kent,

MOR. My Lord of Kent, your honour knows my mind,
That ever has, and still does honour you,
Accounting it my daughter's happiness
(Amidst her other infelicities),
That you vouchsafe to love her as you do.
How gladly I would grant your lordship's suit
The heavens can witness, which with ruthless ears
Have often heard my yet unpitied plaints;
And could I find some means for her recovery,
None but yourself should have her to your wife.

LACY. My Lord of London, now long time it is,
Since Lacy first was suitor to your daughter,
The fairest Honorea, in whose eyes
Honour itself in love's sweet bosom lies.
What shall we say, or seem to strive with heaven,
Who speechless sent her first into the world?
In vain it is for us to think to loose
That which by nature's self we see is bound.
Her beauty, with her other virtues join'd,
Are gifts sufficient, though she want a tongue:
And some will count it virtue in a woman
Still to be bound to unoffending silence;
Though I could wish with half of all my lands,
That she could speak: but since it may not be,
'Twere vain to imprison beauty with her speech.

FOR. Have you not heard, my lords, the wondrous fame
Of holy Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury?
What miracles he hath achiev'd of late;
And how the rood of Dovercourt[433] did speak,
Confirming his opinion to be true:
And how the holy consistory fell,
With all the monks that were assembled there,
Saving one beam, whereon this Dunstan sat;
And other more such miracles as these.
They say he is of such religious life,
That angels often use to talk with him,
And tell to him the secrets of the heavens.
No question, if your honours would but try,
He could procure my lady for to speak.

MOR. Believe me, Forrest, thou hast well advis'd,
For I have heard of late much talk of him.

LACY. Is not that Dunstan he who check'd the king
About his privy dealing with the nun,
And made him to do penance for the fault?

MOR. The same is he; for whom I straight will send.
Miles Forrest shall in post to Glastonbury,
And gently pray the abbot for my sake
To come to London. Sure, I hope the heavens
Have ordain'd Dunstan to do Morgan good.

LACY. Let us despatch him thither presently;
For I myself will stay for his return,
And see some end or other, ere I go.

MOR. Come, then, Lord Lacy: Forrest, come away.



_Enter_ BELPHEGOR, _attired like a physician_;
AKERCOCK, _his man, in a tawny coat_.

BEL. Now is Belphegor, an incarnate devil,
Come to the earth to seek him out a dame:
Hell be my speed! and so, I hope, it will.
In lovely London are we here arrived;
Where, as I hear, the earl hath a fair daughter
So full of virtue and soft modesty,
That yet she never gave a man foul word.

AKER. Marry, indeed, they say she cannot speak.

BEL. For this cause have I taken this disguise,
And will profess me a physician,
Come up on purpose for to cure the lady:
Marry, no may[434] shall bind me but herself,
And she I do intend shall be my wife.

AKER. But, master, tell me one thing by the way:
Do you not mean that I shall marry too?

BEL. No, Akercock, thou shalt be still unwed;
For if they be as bad as is reported,
One wife will be enough to tire us both.

AKER. O, then you mean that I shall now and then
Have, as it were, a course at base[435] with her.

BEL. Not so, not so, that's one of marriage's plagues
Which I must seek to shun amongst the rest,
And live in sweet contentment with my wife,
That when I back again return to hell,
All women may be bound to reverence me
For saving of their credits, as I will.
But who comes here?


CLIN. This needs must tickle Musgrave to the quick,
And stretch his heart-strings farther by an inch,
That Lacy must be married to his love:
And by that match my market is near marr'd
For Mariana, whom I most affect;
But I must cast about by some device
To help myself, and to prevent the earl.

BEL. This fellow fitly comes to meet with me,
Who seems to be acquainted with the earl. [_Aside_.
Good fortune guide you, sir!

CLIN. As much to you.

BEL. Might I entreat a favour at your hands?

CLIN. What's that?

BEL. I am a stranger here in England, sir,
Brought from my native home upon report,
That the earl's daughter wants the use of speech;
I have been practised in such cures ere now,
And willingly would try my skill on her.
Let me request you so to favour me,
As to direct me to her father's house.

CLIN. With all my heart, and welcome shall you be
To that good earl, who mourns his daughter's want:
But they have for a holy abbot sent,
Who can, men say, do many miracles,
In hope that he will work this wondrous cure.

BEL. Whate'er he be, I know 'tis past his skill;
Nor any in the world, besides myself,
Did ever sound the depth of that device.


CLIN. Musgrave, well met: I needs must speak with you.

MUS. I came to seek you.

CLIN. Tarry you a while.
[_To_ BEL.] Shall I entreat you, sir, to walk before
With this same gentleman? I'll overtake you.
This is the news: the Earl of Kent is come,
And in all haste the marriage must be made.
Your lady weeps, and knows not what to do;
But hopes that you will work some means or other
To stop the cross-proceedings of the earl.

MUS. Alas, poor Clinton! what can Musgrave do?
Unless I should by stealth convey her thence,
On which a thousand dangers do depend.

CLIN. Well, to be brief, because I cannot stay,
Thus stands the case: if you will promise me
To work your cousin Marian to be mine,
I'll so devise that you shall purchase[436] her;
And therefore, tell me if you like the match?

MUS. With all my heart, sir; yea, and thank you, too.

CLIN. Then say no more, but leave the rest to me,
For I have plotted how it shall be done.
I must go follow yon fair gentleman,
On whom I build my hopes. Musgrave, adieu.

MUS. Clinton, farewell; I'll wish thee good success.




MOR. Thou holy man, to whom the higher powers
Have given the gift of cures beyond conceit,
Welcome thou art unto Earl Morgan's house:
The house of sorrow yet, unless by thee
Our joys may spring anew; which if they do,
Reward and praise shall both attend on thee.

LACY. And we will ever reverence thy name,
Making the chronicles to speak thy praise:
So Honorea may but have her speech.

DUN. My lords, you know the hallow'd gift of tongues
Comes from the selfsame power that gives us breath:
He binds and looseth them at his dispose;
And in his name will Dunstan undertake
To work this cure upon fair Honorea.
Hang there, my harp, my solitary muse,
Companion of my contemplation.
[_He hangs his harp on the wall_.
And, lady, kneel with me upon the earth,
That both our prayers may ascend to heaven.

[_They kneel down. Then enters_ CLINTON, _with_
BELPHEGOR, _terming himself_ CASTILIANO, _and_

CLIN. So shall you do the lady a good turn,
And bind both him and me to you for ever. [_Aside_.]

BEL. I have determin'd what I mean to do. [_Aside_.]

CLIN. Here be the earls, and with them is the friar. [_Aside_.]

BEL. What, is he praying? [_Aside_.]

CLIN. So methinks he is;
But I'll disturb him. [_Aside_.] By your leave, my lords,
Here is a stranger from beyond the seas
Will undertake to cure your lordship's daughter.

MOR. The holy abbot is about the cure.

BEL. Yea, but, my lord, he'll never finish it.

MOR. How canst thou tell? What countryman art thou?

BEL. I am by birth, my lord, a Spaniard born,
And by descent came of a noble house;
Though, for the love I bare[437] to secret arts,
I never car'd to seek for vain estate,
Yet by my skill I have increas'd my wealth.
My name Castiliano, and my birth
No baser than the best blood of Castile.
Hearing your daughter's strange infirmity,
Join'd with such matchless beauty and rare virtue,
I cross'd the seas on purpose for her good.

DUN. Fond man, presuming on thy weaker skill,
That think'st by art to overrule the heavens!
Thou know'st not what it is thou undertak'st.
No, no, my lord, your daughter must be cur'd
By fasting, prayer, and religious works;
Myself for her will sing a solemn mass,
And give her three sips of the holy chalice;
And turn my beads with aves and with creeds:
And thus, my lord, your daughter must be help'd.

CAS. 'Zounds, what a prating keeps the bald-pate friar!
My lord, my lord, here's church-work for an age?
Tush! I will cure her in a minute's space,
That she shall speak as plain as you or I.

[DUNSTAN' _harp sounds on the wall_.

FOR. Hark, hark, my lord! the holy abbot's harp
Sounds by itself so hanging on the wall!

DUN. Unhallowed man, that scorn'st the sacred rede,[438]
Hark how the testimony of my truth
Sounds heavenly music with an angel's hand,
To testify Dunstan's integrity,
And prove thy active boast of no effect.

CAS. Tush, sir, that music was to welcome me!
The harp hath got another master now;
I warrant you, 'twill never tune you more.

DUN. Who should be master of my harp but I?

CAS. Try, then, what service it will do for you.

[_He tries to play, but cannot_.

DUN. Thou art some sorcerer or necromancer,
Who by thy spells dost hold these holy strings.

CAS. Cannot your holiness unbind the bonds?
Then, I perceive, my skill is most of force.
You see, my lord, the abbot is but weak;
I am the man must do your daughter good.

MOR. What wilt thou ask for to work thy cure?

CAS. That without which I will not do the cure:
Herself to be my wife, for which intent
I came from Spain. Then, if she shall be mine,
Say so, or keep her else for ever dumb.

MOR. The Earl of Kent, mine honourable friend,
Hath to my daughter been a suitor long,
And much it would displease both her and him
To be prevented of their wished love.
Ask what thou wilt beside, and I will grant it.

CAS. Alas, my lord! what should the crazy earl
Do with so young a virgin as your daughter?
I dare stand to her choice 'twixt him and me.

LACY. And I will pawn mine earldom with my love,
And lose them both, if I lose Honorea.

CAS. A match, my lords! We'll stand unto the choice.

MOR. I am contented, if the earl be pleased.

LACY. I were not worthy of her, did I doubt.

CAS. Then there it goes. Fetch me a bowl of wine:
This is the match, my lord, before I work--
If she refuse the earl, she must be mine.

MOR. It is.

[_One brings him a cup of wine: he strains the
juice of the herb into it_.

CAS. Now shall your lordships see a Spaniard's skill,
Who from the plains of new America[439]
Can find out sacred simples of esteem
To bind and unbind nature's strongest powers.
This herb, which mortal men have seldom found,
Can I with ease procure me, when I list,
And by this juice shall Honorea speak.
Here, lady, drink the freedom of thy heart,
And may it teach thee long to call me love!
[_She drinks_.
Now, lovely Honorea, thou art free,
Let thy celestial voice make choice of me.

HON. Base alien! mercenary fugitive!
Presumptuous Spaniard! that with shameless pride
Dar'st ask an English lady for thy wife,
I scorn my slave should honour thee so much:
And, for myself, I like myself the worse,
That thou dar'st hope the gaining of my love.
Go, get thee gone, the shame of my esteem,
And seek some drudge that may be like thyself!
But as for you, good Earl of Kent,
Methinks your lordship, being of these years,
Should be past dreaming of a second wife.
Fie, fie, my lord! 'tis lust in doting age:
I will not patronise so foul a sin.
An old man dote on youth? 'tis monstrous.
Go home, go home, and rest your weary head!
'Twere pity such a brow should learn to bud.
And lastly unto you, my lord and father,
Your love to me is too much overseen,
That in your care and counsel should devise
To tie your daughter's choice to two such grooms.
You may elect for me, but I'll dispose,
And fit myself far better than both those;
And so I will conclude; you[r], as you please.
[_Exit_ HONOREA _in a chafe_.

AKER. Call you this making of a woman speak?
I think they all wish she were dumb again.

CAS. How now, my lord? what, are you in a muse?

LACY. I would to God her tongue were tied again.

CAS. Ay, marry, sir, but that's another thing,
The devil cannot tie a woman's tongue:[440]
I would the friar could do that with his beads.
But 'tis no matter: you, my lord, have promis'd,
If she refuse the earl, she should be mine.

MOR. Win her, and wear her, man, with all my heart!

CAS. O, I'll haunt her till I make her stoop.
Come, come, my lord, this was to try her voice;
Let's in and court her; one of us shall speed.

AKER. Happy man[441] be his dole that misseth her, say I.

DUN. My weaker senses cannot apprehend
The means this stranger us'd to make her speak:
There is some secret mystery therein,
Conceal'd from Dunstan, which the heavens reveal,
That I may scourge this bold, blaspheming man,
Who holds religious works of little worth!

[_Exeunt; manent_ CLINTON _and_ FORREST.

FOR. Now, Captain Clinton, what think you of me?

CLIN. Methinks as yet the jest holds pretty well.
The one hath taught her to deny himself:
The other woo'd so long, he cannot speed.

FOR. This news will please young Musgrave.

CLIN. Marry will it,
And I will hasten to acquaint him with them:
Come, let's away.


_Enter_ PARSON SHORTHOSE _and_ GRIM _the Collier_.

GRIM. No, Master Parson, grief hath made my heart and me a pair of
balance, as heavy as lead. Every night I dream I am a town top, and that
I am whipped up and down with the scourge-stick of love and the metal of
affection; and when I wake,[442] I find myself stark naked, and as cold
as a stone. Now judge how I am tumbled and tossed; poor Grim the collier
hath wished himself burnt up amongst his coals.

SHO. O Grim! be wise, dream not of love,
Thy sorrows cannot fancy move:
If Jug love thee, love her again;
If not, thy kindness then refrain.

GRIM. I am not skilled in your rhyming. Master Parson; but that which is
bred in the flesh will never come out of the bone. I have seen as much
as another man; my travel should teach me. There's never a day in the
week but I carry coals from Croydon to London; and now, when I rise in
the morning to harness my horses, and load my cart, methinks I have a
tailor sewing stitches in my heart: when I am driving my cart, my heart
that wanders one way, my eyes they leer another, my feet they lead me, I
know not whither, but now and then into a slough over head and ears; so
that poor Grim, that before was over shoes in love, is now over head and
ears in dirt and mire.

SHO. Well, Grim, my counsel shall suffice
To help thee; but in any wise
Be rul'd by me, and thou shalt see,
As thou lov'st her, she shall love thee.

GRIM. A lard![443] but do you think that will be so? I should laugh till
I tickle to see that day, and forswear sleep all the next night after. O
Master Parson, I am so haltered in affection, that I may tell you in
secret, [since] here's nobody else hears me, I take no care how I fill my
sacks. Every time I come to London, my coals are found faulty; I have
been five times pilloried, my coals given to the poor, and my sacks burnt
before my face. It were a shame to speak this, but truth will come to
light. O Joan! thou hast thrown the coal-dust of thy love into my eyes,
and stricken me quite blind.

SHO. Now, afore God, the collier chooseth well;
For beauty Jug doth bear away the bell,
And I love her: then, collier, thou must miss,
For Parson Shorthose vows, Jug shall be his. [_Aside_.]
But hear'st thou, Grim, I have that in my head,
To plot that how thou shalt the maiden wed.

GRIM. But are you sure you have that in your head? O, for a hammer to
knock that out! one blow at your pate would lay all open to me, and make
me as wise as you.

SHO. Think'st thou I do so often look
For nothing on my learned book,
As that I cannot work the feat?
I warrant I'll the miller cheat,
And make Jug thine, in spite of him.
Will this content thee, neighbour Grim?

GRIM. Content me! ay, and so highly, that if you do this feat for me,
you hire me to you as one hireth an ox or an ass: to use, to ride, to
spur, or anything; yours to demand, miserable Grim! Joan's handmaid!
for so I have called myself ever since last May-day, when she gave me
her hand to kiss.

SHO. Well, let's away; and in all haste
About it, ere the day be pass'd;
And ever after, if thou hast her,
Acknowledge me to be thy master.

GRIM. I wool, sir: come, let's away, the best drink in Croydon's yours;
I have it for you, even a dozen of jugs, to Jug's health.

[_Exeunt both_.


MOR. My Lord of Kent, the latter motion
Doth bind me to you in a higher degree
Than all those many favours gone before:
And now the issue of my help relies
Only on Mariana's gentleness,
Who, if she will, in such a common good,
Put to her helping-hand, the match is made.

LACY. You need not make a doubt of Marian,
Whose love unto her lady were enough,
Besides her cousin's and her own consent,
To move her to a greater thing than this.

MAR. My lords, if aught there be in Marian,
That may or pleasure you or profit her,
Ye shall not need to doubt of my consent.

MOR. Gramercy, Marian; and indeed the thing
Is in itself a matter of no moment,
If it be weigh'd aright, and therefore this:
Thou know'st the bargain 'twixt me and the doctor,
Concerning marriage with my only daughter,
Whom I determined that my Lord of Kent
Should have espoused: but I see her mind
Is only set upon thy cousin Musgrave,
And in her marriage to use constraint
Were bootless; therefore thus we have devised.
Lord Lacy is content to lose his part,
And to resign his title to young Musgrave;
But now the doctor will not yield his right.
Thus we determine to beguile his hopes:
Thou shalt this night be brought unto his bed
Instead of her, and he shall marry thee:
Musgrave shall have my daughter, she her will;
And so shall all things sort[444] to our content.

LACY. And this thou shalt be sure of, Marian,
The doctor's wealth will keep thee royally:
Besides, thou shalt be ever near thy friends,
That will not see thee wrong'd by any man.
Say then, wilt thou resolve to marry him?

MAR. My lords, you know I am but young:
The doctor's fit for one of riper years:
Yet, in regard of Honorea's good,
My cousin's profit, and all your contents,
I yield myself to be the doctor's wife.

MOR. 'Tis kindly spoken, gentle Marian.


But here the doctor comes.

LACY. Then I'll away,
Lest he suspect aught by my being here. [_Exit_.

MOR. Do, and let me alone to close with him.

CAS. May he ne'er speak that makes a woman speak!
She talks now sure for all the time that's pass'd:
Her tongue is like a scarecrow in a tree,
That clatters still with every puff of wind.
I have so haunted her from place to place:
About the hall, from thence into the parlour,
Up to the chamber, down into the garden,
And still she rails, and chafes, and scolds,
As if it were the sessions-day in hell.
Yet will I haunt her with an open mouth,
And never leave her till I force her love me.

MOR. Now, master doctor; what, a match or no?

CAS. A match, quoth you? I think the devil himself
Cannot match her; for, if he could, I should. [_Aside_.]

MOR. Well, be content: 'tis I must work the mean
To make her yield, whether she will or no.
My Lord of Kent is gone hence in a chafe,
And now I purpose that she shall be yours,
Yet to herself unknown; for she shall think
That Musgrave is the man, but it shall be you:
Seem you still discontented, and no more.
Go, Mariana, call thy mistress hither.
Now, when she comes, dissemble what you know,
And go away, as if you car'd not for her;
So will she the sooner be brought into it.

[_Exit_ MARIAN.

CAS. My lord, I thank you for your honest care,
And, as I may, will study to requite it.

_Enter_ HONOREA _and_ MARIAN.

But here your daughter comes. No, no, my lord,
'Tis not her[445] favour I regard, nor her;
Your promise 'tis I challenge, which I'll have:
It was my bargain, no man else should have her.
Not that I love her, but I'll not be wrong'd
By any one, my lord; and so I leave you.

MOR. He's passing cunning to deceive himself:
But all the better for the after-sport.

HON. Sir, did you send for me?

MOR. Honorea, for thee;
And this it is. Howe'er unworthily
I have bestowed my love so long upon thee,
That wilt so manifestly contradict me,
Yet, that thou may'st perceive how I esteem thee,
I make thyself the guardian of thy love,
That thine own fancy may make choice for thee.
I have persuaded with my Lord of Kent
To leave to love thee: now the peevish doctor
Swears that his int'rest he will ne'er resign;
Therefore we must by policy deceive him.
He shall suppose he lieth this night with thee,
But Mariana shall supply thy room;
And thou with Musgrave in another chamber
Shall secretly be lodg'd. When this is done,
'Twill be too late to call that back again:
So shalt thou have thy mind, and he a wife.

HON. But wilt thou, Mariana, yield to this?

MAR. For your sake, lady, I will undertake it.

HON. Gramercy, Marian, and my noble father;
Now I acknowledge that indeed you love me.

MOR. Well, no more words, but be you both prepar'd:
The night draweth on, and I have sent in secret
For Musgrave, that he may be brought unseen,
To hide suspicion from their jealous eyes.

HON. I warrant you. Come, Marian, let us go.

[_Exeunt_ HONOREA _and_ MARIAN.

MOR. And then my Lord of Kent shall be my son.
Should I go wed my daughter to a boy?
No, no; young girls must have their will restrain'd;


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